Solution Overview

PSSO is a high performance Apache module that provides single-sign-on functionality for cross-server, cross-domain protection spaces. The software retains full compatibility with the basic HTTP and Apache authentication standards, while extending them to:

  • eliminate duplicate login prompts for cross-domain membership bundles
  • allow worry-free separation of content types across different hosts
  • enable secure licensing of protected content to trusted, external members areas

Architecture

In simple terms, the PSSO module allows for the configuration of a "super-authentication realm" for which a single username/password logon will be used across multiple members area domains residing on the same or different servers. And provided those credentials are valid in the different protected areas, the PSSO software does this without requiring the client browser to login multiple times.

The PSSO module relies on a combination of both strongly encrypted URL tokens and first-party cookies. Token operations are done at a very low-level of the Apache request/response cycle, so they will not interfere with the normal linking syntax for a website. In other words, the software does not require changes to a sites' existing directory/file/URI layout or username/password storage. And the module works properly for dynamically generated pages as well (e.g. cgi, php). Lastly, although the PSSO software is a standalone Apache module, it retains full compatibility with our standard ProxyPass module, including the captcha features.

System Requirements

The PSSO module requires a UNIX-based, Apache server configured with dynamic shared object support (i.e. DSO, mod_so.c). The software is compatible with Apache 1.3.x, 2.0.x, and 2.2.x. PSSO has been deployed successfully on many UNIX variants (i.e. Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, MacOSX) in both 32bit and 64bit flavors. The module is not currently available for WIN32 versions of Apache. Of course, PSSO also requires money.

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